In the research paper ‘What is the relationship between process and outcome for Edmund de Waal, Johannes Nagel and Keith Harrison? Anke Buchmann investigates the process of Edmund de Waal’s, Johannes Nagel’s and Keith Harrison’s practice, looking at the basis of their process and its connection to their outcome. The text attempts to show how the process is driven by the artists concept and how the process determines the final work. All three artists uncover contemporary expressions through the medium clay, in the shape of large-scale forms, using conceptual thinking and informed research.
Edmund de Waal is an artist as well as an historian of ceramics. He is widely known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, which are a result of ‘iterative movements of arm, wrist and hand’, as he calls it (De Waal, Crichton-Miller, Glanville, 2014). Looking at his controlled process and methods guided by his conceptual thinking will show the immediate influences on the outcome of his practice, focussing on his later works.
Keith Harrison is an artist who also creates large-scale installations for public galleries and Museums such as the V&A, producing site-specific time-based works. But his process- based live public experiments in which he investigates the physical transformation of clay from a raw state using different electrical systems, have a ‘quality of impermanence about them’ (V&A, 2016). Within the essay it will become evident that they focus on the process rather then a final product (Harrod, 2012). Last but not least Johannes Nagel a german ceramist ‘explores the vessel as an archetypal form where design and culture coalesce’. His practice embraces a dynamic and improvisational approach. ‘The final, finished installations are meant to evidence the process of their making.’ The essay will shed light on how he achieves that (Alexa, 2015).
Source: Excerpt from the research paper ‘What is the relationship between process and outcome for Edmund de Waal, Johannes Nagel and Keith Harrison?, 2017, by Anke Buchmann
Images: Johannes Nagel (New Jazz), Jack Davison for The New York Times (E.d.Waal), Keith Harrison (Last Supper) / Text: Anke Buchmann